"You are going to get very BIG," Myra says.
"Yeah," Joe says.
"'Cause people about your size get VERY big," she says. They nod, a collection of facts lolling between them.
"So if you forgive someone, does that mean they don't have to DO anything? Anything at all? Everything just goes back to normal?"
"Well, surely they have respond in SOME-way."
"But if they have to respond are you really forgiving them?"
"If you expect anything, is it really forgiveness?"
A debate. Theology circles our dinner table. Pizza and salad, brownies, pie, leftover dessert, we weigh and flex scripture against experience. Conversation flits like a flock of birds. Murmuration ensues.
"Surely they have to do something," someone says. "What if I punch you in the nose, and you forgive me, but I still say you deserved it? What then? Ya can't just go back to normal. Can you?"
"But God forgives us before we even ask," someone else says. "Forgive them for they know not what they do."
"But some people DO still go to Hell," someone else says, "even though he forgave them."
We turn it over again and again like a coin with two sides.
"When you forgive someone they don't have to DO anything," Jane pipes up. Childish candor becomes her; she speaks in step. "But in order to RESTORE the relationship they have to acknowledge it in SOME way," she says. Acknowledge. Restore.
The room hushes around her words. As if gathered from the four corners of the room, she synthesizes air down to a single breath. Forgiveness. Restoration. They form a bag of waters around us, sustain us and hold us, give us our first breath.
5606. Myra and Joe make me breakfast.
5607. Jack and Joe debone a chicken for me.
5608. Betsy continues to roll all over the house, pulling stuffing out of a hole in the couch, chewing on rogue flip-flops, biting up bits of paper, and calling whole conversations of Hi there.
5609. We wait with anticipation for the birth of my nephew, the children one big hoorah of excitement.
5610. We attend a funeral in Craig's hometown, his aunt laid to rest.
5611. New yarn.
5612. A polkadot headband for Betsy.
5613. Guacamole, we develop a signature recipe.
5614. We continue to pray for the fruit of the Spirit and watch our lives conform to the particular challenges that cultivate character.
5615. Each night rings in another victory: life together laid one brick at a time. We build castles of affection.